Hamas rejects the latest Israeli proposal regarding the hostage deal

Hamas rejects the latest Israeli proposal regarding the hostage deal

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Hamas said on Tuesday that the latest Israeli proposal in hostage deal talks does not meet any of its demands, after senior Israeli officials said progress had been made in the long-running negotiations.

The proposal was put to Hamas over the weekend during the latest round of talks brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the United States on an agreement that would release the remaining hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for a truce and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. From Israeli prisons.

“the [Israeli] Hamas said in a statement issued early Tuesday that Hamas' position remains stubborn and has not responded to any of the demands of our people and our resistance.

He added: “Nevertheless, the movement's leadership is studying the submitted proposal with all national responsibility and will inform the mediators of the response as soon as it is completed.”

People familiar with the situation said that although some progress has been made in recent discussions, major sticking points remain, with Israel rejecting Hamas demands that any agreement eventually lead to a permanent ceasefire and allow civilians to return freely to the north. Gaza. Gaza.

An Israeli official said that Israel is not prepared to allow anyone linked to Hamas to return to the northern Gaza Strip.

Israel had previously offered to allow about 60,000 Gazans to return to the north, but the official said Israel was prepared to be “more flexible if it sees some flexibility from the other side.” The official added that anyone who returns will have to undergo a security check.

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The Hamas statement came after optimistic statements by Israeli officials, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Defense Minister Yoav Galant saying that progress had been made in the recent talks in Cairo.

“If things work out, a large number of hostages will return to their homes, and everyone will return in stages,” Katz said on Monday. He also said that he is “more optimistic than me, but we cannot promise things when dealing with Hamas.”

Gallant said Israel has a chance to return the hostages, but doing so will require “difficult decisions.”

Hamas took about 250 hostages during the October 7 attack that led to the outbreak of war in Gaza. About 110 of them were released under an agreement brokered by Qatar in exchange for the release of about 240 Palestinian prisoners during a short truce last year.

Since then, mediators have been trying to negotiate a new agreement that would secure the release of the remaining 133 hostages – including some who Israel believes are dead – who are still being held in Gaza.

The recent talks centered on a multi-stage agreement, the first part of which includes the release of about 40 hostages in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, in addition to a six-week ceasefire.

Israel's war cabinet and cabinet are expected to discuss hostage negotiations in meetings on Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he had seen the talks that took place in Cairo and that Israel was working to return the hostages to their homeland.

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But he also insisted that Israel would carry out an attack on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, home to more than a million people who have fled fighting elsewhere in the Strip. Netanyahu said that a date had been set for the operation, but he did not go into further details.

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